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tv   [untitled]    October 8, 2011 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT

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this morning for one and a half hours. hopefully his issues have been resolved. most likely he will speak during public comment, but i think that the commission has to be careful not to respond to him directly pertaining to 570 barrel street, since this is not an item that is on the agenda. a few things come to mind. ms. harris sets the agenda. under what authority did she have to limit my comments? why did she not ask me if the issues had been resolved? since my name was on the memo, in fact actually in the subject of the memo, why was i not sent a copy? >> obviously, you got a copy. >> i got it through sunshine
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laws. i had to file through the sunshine laws in order to obtain a copy, ok? let me give you a couple of responses that i was given during the meeting that we had. we were talking about the heating issues i have had. eight days without key. when i raise the issue about what would happen in the future, his comment was, the next time it happens, why not call the health department? when i asked how other jurisdictions and cities handle the emergency situations, he said that if you do not like the way that we handle it, move to another city. this is from a senior management member. i know that you are not supposed to reply to me, but somewhere along the way i feel i deserve some answers. there is still no permit to the
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hot water heater. another nov was issued on september 2. >> any further public comment? item #five. discussion of planning reviews and approvals between the planning department and building department that are required for building permits. >> good morning, commission president, commissioners. i am with the assistant planning department. here with the the the fear of current planning. we would sincerely like to thank you for this opportunity to introduce a conversation regarding building permit applications. if we can get the screen to switch over to the laptop?
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>> it should be switching over. here we go. >> great, thank you. the planning department's mission statement is that the san francisco planning department promote a harmonious use of land and quality of life for future generations. the department works with the elected officials, community organizations, other stakeholders, and policy-makers. they develop and support social policy through million use mechanisms, but you in
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development for conformity to the planning code, ensuring that all environmental impact of considered. the organizational structure of the department has changed slightly over the years. the current structure includes two commissions. the director planning, the chief of staff, and five divisions. i will love go over the administrative division, but i will briefly touch on these zoning administrator, current planning, and environmental planning in this presentation. city-wide planning is responsible for long-range planning of the city and county of san francisco, providing policy development implementation tools through general area plans in coordination with community and policymakers.
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san francisco's general plan is the embodiment of the future held for san francisco. state law requires the addressing of seven issues. land-use, circulation, housing, coverage the conservation, open space, noise, and save the. -- safety. air quality, preservation, facilities, there are also several area plans recently included, like showplace square. the charter, approved by voters in november of 1995, required general approval to the board of supervisors since approval. this has been revised and
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amended court documents, underscoring the importance of the plan citywide. the plan is intended to be an integrated, consistent, and compatible statement of objectives and policies to be construed in a manner that achieves that intent. but opposition m, november of 1986, it is right there in the front of the code the. section 1.1 mandates consistent priority policies. we have a priority policies. existing neighborhood retail
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services be preserved and enhanced. but neighborhood character be preserved. the neighborhood policy be preserved and enhanced. that a diverse economic base be maintained by protecting industrial sectors. that the city achieved the greatest possible prepare the if in the event of preventing loss of life in an earthquake. providing access to sunlight in business with protection from development. which leads us to the planning code. its intent is to guide, control and regulate future growth in accordance with the general plan. this is an overall map of the
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zoning in san francisco. i am understand it's going to be difficult for you to read. it is just there as a graphic to illustrate the density in the northeast quadrants with the downtown or commercial districts. as you move further west, primarily residential districts and then neighborhood commercial corridors throughout the city and county of san francisco. the zoning administrator -- an extremely important position, charged with the ministry and interpreting the code. he's also charged with code compliance. he reviews and grants variances from the planning code, which are variations from the code standard. he represents the planning department before the board of appeals along with other specific duties.
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the current planning division has a long list of responsibilities. these first project review and a newly created preliminary project assessment process are all intended to guide and facilitate new projects and inform applicants of the projects by which they will be constrained to by the planning code. further, we are responsible for conducting neighborhood notification as well as making sure their projects at here to the process, which is a meeting conducted by the project sponsor of with its abutting property owners. we considered discretionary review and conditional uses
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329, large projects of 29,000 square feet or more which have a 200 ft linear distance on any street frontage. we also reviewed a slew of permits from other agencies and other types of assignments. the planning information center -- is committed to providing planning information, and -- improving permits over the counter and should be the first of for anyone opening a business or developing land in san francisco. we have to counter locations. we are still tied very closely
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with the department of building inspection. we are located at the first and fifth floor for over-the-counter approval. the first is generally staffed by three or four planners. preservation planners are available daily, usually twice a day. except for friday's, where there are only available once a day. in addition to the walked in and phone services, there's an option for the public to send a query by e-mail. i would like to introduce some of the improvements we have made to our web page because this is critical to getting public information out to the people in need we released a property information map. you can click on a parcel on the map or enter an address, intersection, block and a lot,
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and it will go directly to that property. it will provide anyone with property information, the zoning, cases like conditional uses and variants, building permits and other miscellaneous permits like health and abc as well as complaints. we are diligently and daily improving this property information map. we intend to add considerably more information to the public. on our web page, we recently added how-to guides to guide people through the various types of permits reviewed and approved by the planning department. this is an example of one how to guide for? and stairs. each of the pages has the same format applications and handouts
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-- this is the permit process. i don't intend for you to be able to read each of the steps. it is a graphic to illustrate how complicated the process can be and this is the simplified version. the planning department, when the department receives a permit, the department has divided the city into four quadrants. those building permit applications are assigned by quadrants. building permits are viewed with respect to the planning code. those are the standards. we review them according to design guidelines and other applicable area planned
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objectives and policies. if you are lucky enough and the scope of your work is small enough, you can get an over-the- counter approval date primarily pertain to interior work. exterior work without any expansion such as windows, replacement and kind, certain minor expansions, permitted obstructions and certain? , also certain changes of use that don't require notification or further environmental modification. if you are not getting approval over the counter, it is likely subject to neighborhood notification. in 1996, the planning code
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section 311 was created for residential districts was the intent of notifying neighbors within 150 feet of the subject property of horizontal and or vertical additions to a dwelling unit. in 2000, this expanded into the neighborhood commercial districts for the same type of expansions as well as changes of use. initially, all changes is views were required to conduct a neighborhood notification and that has been scaled back. in 2008, the requirement for their expanded to include that eastern neighborhood, mixed used districts and western samoa. the city is divided topographical the or because they feel they are a unique section by individual neighborhoods.
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if i am doing a project in that hour sunset, i need to notify all of the neighborhoods within those boundaries as well as tenants and owners within 150 feet. it is a 30-day hold and as a result, occasionally, someone who feels the project is inappropriate to neighborhood scale and character or may create a negative impact to their property may submit a discretionary review. these are code-complying projects determined to be appropriate by the planning department. however, as i said, anyone, they don't have to -- that would trigger a public hearing before the planning commission. there must be extraordinary circumstances that warrant the modification of the project.
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on a more rare occasion, there are mandatory discretionary reviews required subject to public policy or codes or demolition. these actions through the permit application can be appealed to the board of appeals. other entitlements required prior to the issuance or approval of the application by the building department are most commonly conditional use authorizations. the planning commission has the ability to improve projects within the code and must find the project is necessary and compatible with the neighborhood or community. these actions can be appealed to the board of supervisors. another such entitlement may be
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approved or authorized by the planning department are variances. these are considered through a public hearing to the zoning administrator. the zoning administrator must find these five findings, specifically that there is an exceptional or extraordinary circumstance applying to the property. these are a deviation from planning code standards. so if you have a rear yard requirement of 25% and you want to encroach into that, you'd need to seek and justify a variants. these determinations can be appealed to the board of appeals. environmental planning -- land- use decisions, developments, policies, legislation, all need environmental planning review. this was mandated by the state
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of california in 1970 and applies to all discretionary actions. have reapplication we review is a discretionary action with exception to signed permits, unless they are on historical property. there are three types of determinations -- we recently developed a new checklist form required for any burma -- any permit application. that provides us with the documentation we need to make that determination. the next level would be a negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration. then, a full environmental impact report if the project so merits. the california environmental quality act provides the legal framework by which historical
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resources are identified and given consideration during the planning process. there are two steps in the process. first, a determination whether the property is a historic resources. any building 50 years or older is a potential historic resources and we need to review it as such. second is whether not the proposed changes would cause a substantial adverse impact to that resource. you can imagine quite a bit of the buildings in san francisco are 50 years or older. historic preservation is a strategy for conserving press specific elements to retain a tangible physical connection to the past. article 10 of the planning code addresses landmarks and historic districts. article 11 addresses
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conservation districts located exclusively in the downtown core area. at this time, i would like to provide you with some basic statistics associated with bill -- building permit application review. in 2010, the department of building inspection received and reviewed over 20,000 building permit applications. the planning department was only required to review about 6300 of those permits. we were able to approve 50 percent of those -- 50% of those of the counter. of those, 16 required neighborhood notification. we conducted 261 project reviews. the zoning administrator and
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ministered 120 letters of determination, improved what -- approved 110 and not only one. in a bomb 129 and -- some additional process these we conduct our shadow studies over open spaces. there were 30 of those. 189 condominium conversions, 39 subdivisions, 29 planning code amendments, and 12 the zoning map amendments. the significant difference here is when a building permit application is submitted to the department of building inspection. if they are subject to the code when the permit was committed. the differences with all of these code amendments that go on
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throughout the year, we are held to a different standard. the permit application is subject to the code requirements when the permit is issued. any changes to the code can impact the application even if it was submitted months or years prior. finally, some other statistics -- we have to permits to alter downtown -- that concludes my presentation. we are available for any questions. >> commissioners? any questions? >> i have one question. would it planning be open to a
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roundtable discussion once a month? i know the county sounds one representative every month, but it would be nice if we could get some department heads there that could sort of let them understand each other better and also, the public would have some questions and you could be able to enlighten them up that time. is that something planning would be interesting in taking part in? >> as you stated, myself and the director of planning currently do attend those meetings. i think it would depend on the planning director himself as to whether he would like to attend. if there was an agenda item
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specific to planning, he would consider it. >> i am not particularly asking for the planning director to be there. maybe the zoning director. >> i had a conversation just yesterday with the zoning director and he expressed interest that if i cannot attend, he would be happy to or his assistant would. >> thank you. >> thank you for coming and presenting to us. i am looking at the website to give you the information which is specific for a property in the city, which is a great thing and i'm wondering if there will be a time when we actually bring in a tracking system and combine it with the planning department's tracking system? >> that process is currently
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underway. >> we are developing with planning the permit tracking system, of which one of the modules is a public portal that will provide that information. we're still under development and understanding how it will work with our various web sites, but it will provide the transparency you would want to have. >> great. i know we are working on the permitting system and we will be actually using the same system for the first time in history, which i think is a huge deal. the goal would be that the public would go to a website. they don't care if it is planning more building. we need to bring our processes
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together more, which has been an historic problem. i -- this was a good, st., and comprehensive, and i think we all look forward to the time when we can work in one rhythm. it would be good. >> i just want to say thank you for the presentation. this is something we have been looking forward to, but getting it out to the public, i think it is very helpful to have members of the staff with us from the first floor and the fifth floor. i think there is often confusion among the public about what is the purview of planning and what is the purview of the d b i. all they know is they can't get it done fast enough or something is holding it up. they just see that it is the city. any kind of education we can do
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to help them, this is where it sat and this is what you need to do would alleviate some of those frustrations. i worry about the one time builder. i think the professionals have figured out. they are the ones that the advisory board meetings that come in every day and i am worried about the one time remodeler who just bought a house in san francisco and they want to get something done. i would hope they would get this as easily as you have laid out here. >> you are absolutely correct. it may be the first time and of the last time they ever come through our doors. >> let me add to that comment. there is a lot of confusion out
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in the general public, especially people not familiar with the construction and permitting process. it is incumbent upon the people of the front counter who can answer questions intelligently and explain clearly in layman's terms the difference between what planning does and what db guy does. my question is, how does your front counter, front-line people answer that question? how do you explain this is what planning does and this is what building does? it may also go to our front counter people, how do they answer that? is it adequate enough people understand the difference between the two departments? >> i manage the planning information center and we conduct bi monthly training every other week

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